Battle of Doctorates: Ed.D. Vs Ph.D

That one question that has been haunting most of us through our lives has been, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” While some get their answers through MBA’s and high paying corporate jobs, some decide to delve into becoming the masters of professional education.

If one wishes to be a university professor or researcher, a doctorate degree is a must. A doctorate degree is the highest form of educational degree that a student can achieve.

But it is extremely important to know which doctorate degree is right for you – Ph.D or Ed.D.

While both involve extensive research in the field of higher education, the distinction between the two lies on the focus of each program and understanding the characteristics of each can help in making the right choice.

What is Ph.D and Ed.D, and What does it entail?

A Ph.D or D.Phil which stands for Doctor of Philosophy is a pure research degree which is dedicated to one subject of study. This takes roughly 4-6 years to complete, 2-3 years of which is involved in coursework and the rest is for doctoral dissertation.

The doctoral dissertation is of about 80,000-100,000 words and is based on the research which carried out during the coursework. The aim of the research is to create something new in the chosen specialization or build upon existing studies or theories. It is a purely academic degree which invites you to explore that specific field of study.

An Ed.D which stands for Doctor of Education is for those interested in the administrative side of the education sector. The coursework of the program involves skill development, theory, problem solving and research. It is a degree which requires application of knowledge and research onto real world problems which may be organizational, leadership or that deal with educational structure.

Unlike Ph.D, one is not expected to develop new research but to build upon the existing practices of the education sector. An Ed.D prepares one to solve problems in schools, universities, non-profit organizations as well as corporate firms.

If you are from Canada, University of Western Ontario is among the best universities from where one can get a Ph.D or Ed.D degree.

Comparison Between Ph.D and Ed.D

  • While Ph.D involves two things which are – the extensive research of one field of study and the extension of the knowledge gained from it in University classrooms, an Ed.D is for those who are interested in leadership roles and would want to work outside of the classrooms but involved in bringing positive change to the education sector nonetheless.
  • Ph.D is a teacher specialist course, and is for those who want a more study based role in the educational organization. It is for those who do not wish to lead the organization directly and want to contribute through spreading the knowledge. While an Ed.D is for those who wish to be managers or overseers, who apply their foundational knowledge to improve the organization.

Job Opportunities

  • A Ph.D holder may be appointed as secondary education teachers and counselors, university professors, researchers, sociologists, training and development specialists, etc.
  • Those with an Ed.D degree are sought as Education Administrators, Trainers and development managers, social and community managers, etc.

These are the basic points of differences and similarities between the two doctorate degrees which help in making of a master of education, each trying the best, independently and as a team to bring a difference to the education sector of the world.

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